Teachers working at a Missouri school district will now be able to whoop students with a paddle under a new policy.
A hard head makes for a soft behind. That might be the words Cassville School District instructors might say to their students before giving them a pow-pow for their poor classroom behavior. This past Tuesday, Cassville School District announced the new policy, which states that “swatting the buttocks with a paddle” as a punishment for bad behavior will be allowed. And that is the only form of physical discipline that can be used.
“When it becomes necessary to use corporal punishment, it shall be administered so that there can be no chance of bodily injury or harm,” the policy reads. “Striking a student on the head or face is not permitted.”
If a teacher does want a student paddled, the punishment will be given by the school’s principal with the presence of a witness. Students will not be permitted to watch another student be disciplined. How many swats a child receives could be based on their age. There are less than 4,000 people in the town of Cassville, and families have the option to decline or accept the policy.
Superintendent Merlyn Johnson said the new punishment policy wasn’t a part of his goals for the district when he started, but he says he’s fine with it. “But it is something that has happened on my watch and I’m OK with it,” said Johnson, USA Today reports.
The policy was approved by the school board in June, and parents were notified. Johnson says the new policy will be used as a “last resort” option if a child doesn’t respond well to another disciplinary measure.